The conventional wisdom on immigration crumbles.

A mostly political Weblog.
May 30 2006 5:42 AM

Special Premature Gloating Edition

The bogus CW on immigration crumbles.

(Continued from Page 11)

3) Central logical flaw:

An immigration reform bill needs to be comprehensive, because all elements of this problem must be addressed together or none of them will be solved at all.

Really? Can't you control the border--even adding a controlled guest worker program to relieve the pressure, if you think that will help--without dealing with the sensitive issue of how to deal with those who are already in the country illegally? Maybe that's not desirable (though I think it is). But there seems to be no logical policy reason they "must"be addressed together.

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4) Various post-speech commentators seem to say that the Senate and House are badly divided, emotions run high, etc., so the result will be a compromise bill nobody likes. But our three-sided constitutional system isn't designed to produce compromise laws nobody likes when there are deep divisions. It's designed to produce inaction and Kabuki posturing. (The most obvious "make believe" Kabuki solution: the House passes its bill, the Senate passes its bill, they never agree on a common bill but all sides take credit for their clarion stands on the issue.)

5) "End of the line" con: Present and accounted for!

But approval would not be automatic, and they will have to wait in line behind those who played by the rules and followed the law.

For why this is a fraud, see Lawrence Lindsey's essay, discussed below.

6) Here's a new idea: "Exit amnesty" As described in a letter to VDARE, in an "exit amnesty," existing illegal immigrants would be told::

You have 60 days to arrange your affairs and leave. If you leave during this exit amnesty period and have committed no other crimes against the American people, you will suffer no penalty or recriminations. You will not be harassed or persecuted in any manner while you depart from our nation.  ...

If you leave voluntarily, you will be free to enter the U.S. in the future without prejudice or discrimination. You will be allowed to apply for lawful immigration to the U.S. in the future. However, you will be given no special privileges and will have to wait in line like every one else. And you will have to wait in your country not ours.

If you do not take advantage of our generous offer, and if you are caught after our amnesty ends, you will be banned from the U.S. for life. You will never be readmitted to the U.S. for any reason whatsoever. If you attempt to return to the U.S. after you are banned, you will be criminally prosecuted. [Links omitted]

A proposal that deserves to be considered as part of the policy mix! If not, why not? It might be appropriate, for example, for those immigrants "who crossed the border recently" and don't merit a path to citizenship even in Bush's "roots"-oriented scheme--that is, if Bush is serious about denying them legalized status. Or is the idea to wait until they've put down "roots" too? 1:45 A.M link

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